As with yesterday’s song from the ’70s, today’s is another retro-retro effort – but the original of this one goes waaay back.
And here’s the original:
I’m a semi-fan of the blues – i.e., I have to be in the mood for it, otherwise I find it a bit dull.
But when I am in the mood I love it, even when it’s a remake of an old blues song recorded for a movie:
Here’s the original:
Thanks to Stephen for letting me know about “My Babe”. Thanks, Stephenita!
By the way, the drumming in Columbus Short’s version of “My Babe” reminds me of a Squeeze song:
Thanks to Duncan’s comment I’ll present you with “This Train”. Sister Rosetta Tharpe recorded it four times in her career: in 1939, 1943, and twice in 1947.
Being the completist I am, here’s the first recorded version of “This Train”:
Wood’s Famous Blind Jubilee Singers – “This Train Is Bound For Glory” (1925)
Today’s coincidence comes to you courtesy of blogger Jack Feerique (Hi, Jack!) over at the Popdose blog. A recent post there is part of a series called “Digging for Gold: The Time-Life “AM Gold” Series“. The series features five songs per post, with a resident panel of bloggers offering their comments about each song. The most recent instalment (Part 34) contains “I Think I Love You” by The Partridge Family, and Jack’s first comment on the song was this:
I knew I’d heard this somewhere before.
And this is what he was referring to:
Charlie Chaplin – “Je cherche après Titine (The Nonsense Song)” (1936) (excerpt)
Here are the full versions:
Charlie Chaplin – “Je cherche après Titine (The Nonsense Song)” (1936)
Here’s the one and only Django Reinhardt:
Django Reinhardt – “Ton Doux Sourire” (“The Sunshine Of Your Smile”) (1935)
What an amazing guitarist. And to think that he used only two fingers on his left hand. Two! What an amazing guitarist.
I also love how the sizzling-frying-pan sound on the recording just adds to the track’s charm.
By the way, the last few Tuesdays ’round here have been reserved for hotshot instrumentalists, and I’ve pummelled you with all sorts of non-power-pop artistes. I think I’ve taken quite enough of your time with my indulgences, so if you have no objections I’ll quietly retire Tuesday as hotshot instrumentalist day and restore it to regular power pop mode. Thank you for your patience.
I’m amazed that nobody else has mentioned this coincidence before, because to me it’s always been glaringly obvious.
Ever since I first heard this part of the verse in Fountains Of Wayne‘s “Leave The Biker” (1996)…
…I’ve heard “Mama’s little baby loves shortnin’, shortnin’ / Mama’s little baby loves shortnin’ bread”:
That’s what I hear every time FoW’s Chris Collingwood sings whatever he sings in those verses. For me, it’s all “Mama’s little baby loves…”.
There have been plenty of versions of “Shortnin’ Bread” over the years. The one above is by Paul Chaplain And His Emeralds. Here’s the full version, along with some others:
Paul Chaplain And His Emeralds – “Shortnin’ Bread” (1960)
And here’s the full FoW song:
Fountains Of Wayne – “Leave The Biker” (1996)
I listened to a track by Pink for the first time on Australian Idol* a couple of weeks ago when a contestant performed one of her songs. I was immediately struck by the first part of the verse.
I don’t have a copy of the contestant’s efforts, but here’s Her Pinkness performing the first singin’ bit in the song:
(I didn’t want to play you more of that than absolutely necessary, because the less I play of Pink’s music, the happier I am.)
If you’re familiar with musicals from the 1930’s then that may have reminded you of this:
By the way, I’ve just been told by the 18-year-old Japanese expert in the house (Hi, Celeste!) that I’m being incredibly nitpicky, and that nobody will think those two things sound similar. Quite possibly. Nevertheless, the first few ascending notes and rhythm instantly reminded me of “Puttin’ On The Ritz.”
Here are the full versions.
Pink – “Funhouse” (2008)
It just occurred to me that whoever wrote “Funhouse” may not have heard Fred Astaire’s version of “Puttin’ On The Ritz” but Taco‘s very 80’s (and very ghastly) version instead (I dare say that in the 80’s there was a greater chance of hearing Taco than Fred):
But back to Pink and her, er, song**. The chorus of “Funhouse” begins:
“This used to be a Funhouse
But now it’s full of evil clowns”
That line about the evil clowns reminded me of this. Is there anything in popular music nowadays that doesn’t remind me of something else?
(*Yeah, yeah, I know – but majority rules in this household, so I watched it. Democracy in action!)
(**I called “Funhouse” a ‘track’ at the start of this post. That’s because, after hearing “Funhouse” all the way through, I have a lot of trouble calling it a ‘song’.)